Compensation Program Administration

Placement of Positions in the Compensation Framework

Each non-faculty position at Washington and Lee University has been assigned to a career stage and Role using a Career Level Guide which considers the following factors:

  • Organizational scope
  • Complexity of work performed
  • Decision-making and impact (extent of independence in decision making)
  • Interpersonal requirements (who the position interacts with outside the normal work group, as well as the purpose of that interaction)
  • Supervision and management (what types and levels of positions are supervised and what supervisory functions are performed)
  • Technical skills and computer usage (where appropriate in non-exempt positions)
  • Education, knowledge, skills, certifications, licenses, abilities, and experience necessary to perform the assigned work

Position descriptions should be reviewed on a regular basis by the supervisor (generally once a year during the performance development cycle) and when any of the following occurs:

  • A position has undergone significant changes.
  • When a vacancy occurs and prior to beginning recruitment efforts.

Positions reviewed for appropriate classification may:

  • Maintain the same position title and market reference range
  • Be reclassified to a different title within the same career stage and level
  • Be reclassified to either a higher or lower career stage and level
  • Be reclassified to either a higher or lower market reference range

Market Reference Ranges

Each market reference range has a minimum, midpoint, and maximum, and provides the flexibility to reward different levels of performance and competencies. Each non-faculty, benefit-eligible position falls within a market reference range determined using market data as described above. An individual's position within his/her market reference range will reflect his/her individual performance and experience (both internal and external experience are considered).

Market Entry Zone Market Mid Zone Market Premium Zone
←Minimum -Midpoint- Maximum→
Developing employees with successful performance Experienced employees who are consistently meeting expectations Experienced employees who are consistently performing well above expectations

Each market reference range provides the flexibility to reward different levels of individual development and performance. An experienced employee who is fully meeting goals and competency expectations can expect to be paid around the midpoint, while someone newer to the position might be closer to the minimum. An experienced employee who consistently delivers exceptional performance could expect to be paid above the midpoint.

Pay Below the Market Reference Range Minimums

Typically, an employee will not be paid below the minimum of the market reference range assigned to his/her position.

It is possible that an employee or a candidate who is sufficiently inexperienced or unskilled (or may not be performing adequately) may be paid a lower salary. In this case, all efforts should be made to quickly bring the incumbent's performance and skills up to the standards of the job; pay should then be adjusted accordingly. If performance and skills cannot be sufficiently enhanced over a short period of time, the manager, in conjunction with the Executive Director of Budgets and Compensation, should determine the appropriate course of action.

Pay Above the Market Reference Range Maximums

The market reference range Maximum is typically the highest salary that a staff member who consistently performs at a high level can attain in a particular position. It is not, however, W&L's policy to "cap" or "freeze" salary increases even though an individual reaches the top of a salary range. There may be instances where a staff member is paid at a salary that exceeds the maximum. These situations, however, will typically be rare. Individuals whose pay is at or above the market premium zone may receive smaller percentage increases than individuals whose pay is within the range.

Consistently high performers who are paid at or above the market premium zone may receive lump sum "spot" awards instead of base pay increases.

Employees who consistently perform their job in an exceptional manner, or who possess and demonstrate exceptional skills and competencies may be appropriately paid at our above the market premium zone. These situations will also be reviewed by the Executive Director of Budgets and Compensation to ensure that pay levels correspond appropriately to the employee's job, based on market and internal equity and performance contribution to Washington and Lee University.

The Executive Director of Budgets and Compensation will continue to assess the market reference ranges to ensure they are updated to reflect market changes.